Identity and 2 Peter 1

2 Peter Stats

Background: The readers of this letter were believers (1:1) and apparently the same group as addressed in 1 Peter (2 Pet. 3:1). The problem facing the readers in 1 Peter was persecution. The problem facing the readers of 2 Peter was false teaching (2:1, 21).[1]

Opponents: One suggestion of the heresy combated in this letter was a proto-Gnosticism; “knowledge” (a favorite emphasis of the Gnostics, though hardly limited to them) is mentioned seven times in the letter. Gnostics denied the future coming of Christ, and many of them believed that bodily sins did not matter. It is likely that the opponents are simply Diaspora Jews almost completely overtaken by Greek thought.[2]

Purpose: This letter from Peter was designed to warn its readers against false teachers in the church (2:1–2; 3:17). In contrast with the opponents’ claims to knowledge, Peter emphasized the true knowledge of Christ (1:2, 3, 8; 2:20; 3:18). Peter intended for the letter to stir the readers to remembrance of the true teachings of their prophets and Savior (3:1–2) and encourage growth in knowledge of the Lord Jesus (3:18),[3] as they look forward to the Lord’s return.[4]

Themes: Holiness, Orthodoxy Christ’s return


2 Peter 1

Series question: How do resurrection promises affect our lives in a broken world, in light of 2 Peter 1?

Read 2 Peter 1, What is good news in this chapter?

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your callingand election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.



Good news: We share in Jesus’ divine nature (2 Pe 1:3,4)

“Believers will not participate in God’s essence, but His holiness, including His glory and virtue, 2 Pe 1:3. Sanctification is the imparting to us of God Himself by the Holy Spirit in the soul. The divine power enables us to be partakers of the divine nature.”[5]


Questions of Meditation:

-How will you adjust your consumption this week to help yourself live into your identity in Jesus? What will you feast on? What will you fast from?

-How will you live into John 10:10?


[1] Hughes, R. B., & Laney, J. C. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary (p. 695). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (2 Pe). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[3] Hughes, R. B., & Laney, J. C. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary (p. 695). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[4] Gangel, K. O. (1985). 2 Peter. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 862). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 517). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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